Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, December 6
The have-nots are once again on the receiving end in the state as just 13 per cent of the total eligible families in rural Punjab were given pucca houses.
Punjab remains one of the worst-performing states under the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Awas Yojana. It is ranked 24 among the total 29 states. Kerala topped the chart by providing pucca houses to 61.7 per cent beneficiaries, followed by Bihar with 45.6 per cent, Sikkim 42.2 per cent, and Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh to 37 per cent of the rural poor families.
As per the survey done by the Department of Rural Development and Panchayats, 1.25 lakh families were found living in kutcha houses. Of these around 70 per cent are Dalits, 28 per cent are others and 2.14 per cent are religious minorities.
However, when it comes to delivering the benefit on ground, the latest data compiled by the Union Ministry of Rural Development, just 16,744 of these rural poor families were given pucca houses in the past five years, amounting to just 13 per cent of the total eligible beneficiaries. However, when it comes to the rest of India, 31 per cent eligible people got benefit under the scheme.
In year-wise break-up, as many as 2,319 were given pucca houses in 2015-16, 9,715 in 2016-17 and 3,829 in 2017-18. However, none of the beneficiaries in the state got the benefit in the last and this financial year.
In the initial survey, Ferozepur district topped the chart with over 32,000 kutcha houses, followed by Mansa 9,584, Ludhiana 9,456, Muktsar 9,391, Gurdaspur 8,857 and Moga 8,536.
However, just 1,519 in Ferozepur, 2,962 in Mansa, 437 in Ludhiana, 1,514 in Muktsar, 447 in Gurdaspur and 158 in Moga could get the pucca houses. Some of the poorest performing districts in the state are Moga where just 1.8 per cent, Sangrur 4.74 per cent, Bathinda 4.96 per cent, Amritsar and Gurdaspur 5 per cent and SBS Nagar 7.2 per cent of the eligible families could get the benefit.
Ropar-based activist Dinesh Chadha said neither the state nor the Central government was serious about passing on any benefit to the poor people. “Those who live in kutcha houses in the 21st century in Punjab are the poorest of the poor. It is not just about the housing scheme, when it comes to the poor, all the plans are performing badly.”
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